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Happy 2014!

Happy New Year, y’all!

One of my goals for this year is to be more creative with my blog content. So this year, to share my goals, I made a little video! Granted, it’s kind of a #struggle video, but I had fun making it. :) I’m thinking about doing some Q&A videos (which will be a lot better looking than this one), so if you’re interested in a particular topic, let me know!

And for those who’d rather read than watch:

My 2014 Goals

1. Write consistently

2. Dress well everyday

3. Exercise for health (and vanity)

4. Make money, save money

5. Speak B2 level German

6. Don’t shop mindlessly

7. Skype more (with friends, family and sorors)

8. Travel to new places

 

 

What about y’all? Any big plans or goals for 2014?

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a few 2013 snapshots

2013 was pretty good to me. If I had a theme for the year, it could probably be summed up as “simplicity and gratitude.” I spent most of the year trying to de-clutter and un-complicate. Still not quite finished, but I’m definitely heading into 2014 with a lot less physical and mental baggage than I came with. I also had some beautiful moments that I’m supremely grateful for, like talking for hours with my best friend (while eating ALL of her Krispy Kreme donuts), watching my son play with his cousins, and getting to play with my cousins. It was a happy year.

 

 

2014, I think, will be the year of Supreme Effort. I’ve got dreams to achieve. Time to put in the work. But first, a last look back at some of my favorite moments.

 

 

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One of the owners at our favorite Italian place. He let the Babycakes help him make this crocodile breadstick.

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My first trip to Paris! Hopefully not my last.

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Minus 7 Celsius. It was a LONG, cold winter.

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Getting his hair cut by my brother, the best barber in Greenville!

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Even though I was sick with the flu during our trip, seeing this made it worth it.

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Exploring in the forest. I live for these moments.

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I told them to say “cheese.” This is what they did.

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My little fearless guy, who wanted to ride all of the most dangerous rides at the fair.

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Got my hair laid at the dopest natural hair salon in Germany.

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Second anniversary breakfast in Cologne.

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My husband we planted a balcony garden.

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Looking forward to more adventures in 2014.

Happy New Year, everyone!

places: afghan warehouse, braunschweig

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Guten Tag, y’all!

 

So–if you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, the you’ll know that on Tuesday, I locked myself out of the house. Sadly, this is not the first time it’s happened. Because I’m the type of person who locks herself out of the house at least once a year, I’ve developed a plan for what to do if when this happens. My plan: I get out and explore, and I document my adventures on social media; if you want to see them, just search for the hashtag #TatsLockedOut.
 
In this latest edition of #TatsLockedOut, I was lucky enough to have my purse with me (the last time, all I had was my phone). So instead of moping about, I decided to hop on a train and explore Braunschwieg, one of the cities near Wolfsburg. I’ve been there lots of times, but I find that the nature of cities means there’s always something new to discover. And y’all–I struck gold, in the form of a store called Afghan Warehouse. It all started with a peasant skirt.
 
I’m pretty sure that I was a hippy in a former life, so any time I see  flow-y clothing or smell incense, I feel a magnetic pull in whatever direction it lies. What got me this time was a rack of peasant skirts standing out in front of the store. I crossed the street to check it out, then went in to find the place that bohemian dreams are made of: shelves of African and Asian inspired art, baskets of earthy bracelets, stacks of brightly colored fabrics. Incense, henna, scarves, carved wood. I loved it. In my part of Germany, it’s very rare to find non-European stuff that’s not kitschy, so I was beyond stoked to find this place.
 
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What about y’all–discovered any interesting places lately?

the WOB list: for families in wolfsburg

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Guten Tag, y’all!

 

Here’s one for the Wolfsburg folks (and, slightly less altruistically, for me, too). So, I’m on a mission to get out and see more of Wolfsburg(or Wob, as it’s known coloquially), and to generally be more active in the community. To do that, I need to know what’s going on, but it’s been hard for me to find useful information all in one place (and even harder to find it in English). The solution? I started a weekly newsletter–in English–all about family friendly events in Wolfsburg. It also forces me gives me an excuse to get out and interview people again, since I want to include one short article about an interesting person, place or event here in every issue. 

 

If you or someone you know is interested in this, sign up! I’m hoping it will help folks like me get out of the house and out into the city. And here’s the first edition, if you’re looking for things to do this weekend. Please let me know if you find it helpful!

 

 

hanging out with the women of color travel talk!

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Guten Tag, y’all!

 

Ever wonder what it’s like to live in Germany? Then tune into the first Women of Color Travel Talk panel discussion–hosted by Nicole is the New Black– on Google Hangout today at 4 pm EST/9 pm BST. Topic: Living in Germany. Tweet your questions and tag ‘em with #woctt!

 

And can we just take a moment to talk about how cute Nicole’s mini-me is? The Babycakes saw this picture and asked if we could bring this baby home. :) Hope to see you there!

 

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blerdin’ out

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Guten Tag, y’all!

 

Today I’m geekily excited to tell you that I’m today’s Featured Blerd over at BlerdNation.com! I’m guessing most of you had one of these reactions:

 

1)Yay blerds!    2)Umm…what’s a blerd?

 

What’s a blerd? Well, the simple version is “black + nerd = blerd.” But I love Geek Soul Brother’s take on the word, if you want to get a little more in-depth. Anywho–back to BlerdNation. It’s a cool site “where we, Black Nerds (Blerds), find out what other Blerds are up to and into.” I love that it highlights the type of black folks you don’t see in the dominant media narrative; I also love all this cool stuff I’ve discovered there. So in the spirit of blerdiness, let me tell y’all about all the ways I blerded out this weekend.

 

1)I spent a few hours in an English bookstore. This is one of my absolute favorite things to do! The English section in our local bookstore is really small, so whenever I go in there it feels like I’m stuck at sea without provisions: water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink. Not so on Saturday. There were so many good books that I had a hard time choosing which ones to take home, but I ended up leaving with The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri; Open City by Teju Cole; and Granta’s latest Best of Young British Novelists.

 

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2)I watched Star Trek: Into Darkness. I came to Star Trek late, because I’d always thought Star Wars was much cooler. But then JJ Abrams got involved (he of Lost and Alias), and I had to check it out. So far, I’m liking the films, though I think the first one was better than this follow up. (Random fact: Bones is called “Pills” in German. Chris Pine is fine in both languages, though.)

 

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3)I spent most of the weekend reading A Storm of Swords, the third book in the Game of Thrones series. Y’all. It’s SO addictive! Lady Catelyn keeps making bad choices, Arya keeps being gangsta, and Joffrey’s still crazier than a mug. And the wedding…!

 

So that was my nerdtastic weekend.

What about y’all–do anything geeky over the weekend?

 

 

 

 

 

flux city guides: jen’s new york city

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Guten Tag, y’all!

 

I first connected with Jen through her awesome blog, Imported Chocolate, which is all about inspiring black women to get out and see the world. I love Jen’s attitude toward travelling: it’s all about being fearless and open, and connecting with other cultures. Plus, the girl’s got great taste. Whenever I’ve checked out a movie or music recommendation of hers, I’ve been very pleased. So I knew right away that I wanted her to do a guide to New York City, and as usual, she did not disappoint! Jen’s New York is approachable, international, and unique–just like her. Check it out. Continue reading